Monday, November 30, 2015

Lacing Up

Do you find yourself sometimes drawn to garments and accessories laden with giant, gaping holes?

Me too.

My first-attempt lace-like scarf start. 

Ok, maybe the holes are not giant and gaping. Let's try stable and intentional.

Lace knitting is a beautiful technique that incorporates wonderfully patterned yarn overs in order to create a light and airy knitted piece. I like the delicate feel and appearance of the technique, but further, I am interested in the pattern architecture.

In my initial days of knitting, I was intrigued by lace. However, many seasoned crafters let me know in that nice "it's-something-to-look-forward-to" gentle let-down type of language that I should become more comfortable with the motion of knits and purls before I attempt something complex, like lace.

With a few months of knitting under my belt, I was ready to take on a bit of a fiber challenge.

"Why not?" I thought, "Why not try something tricky?"

After sweeping Ravelry for a few hours, "That's so pretty!" became "Wow. That looks really tough." and eventually, I settled on "Alright - no. Nope. Not skilled enough yet." However, I was still enticed by the look of the hole-y (not holy, Blessed Yarn is something different) knits, so I dug some older yarn out of my stash and tried to figure out how to make the look I wanted. I found the solution in the number four.

Knits galore in groups of four.

Even numbers are friendly to knit with, especially when working with yarn-overs and knit-togethers. A knitter can create patterns, as shown in the lace-like knit above, without losing stitches. To make this scarf, I casted on twenty-four stitches. This number was really important for the whole project, for a different number would create chaos in the pattern. I learned this the hard way, through observation of lots of mistakes.

This scarf requires twenty-four stitches on the needle for the entire pattern.

For a few days, this project took over my life (only a slight exaggeration). While knitting, I would have to stop mid-conversation and count my stitches over and over again, only to become more distracted when I got to the end of the needles and -- oops! only twenty-three stitches there. Quite frankly, this pattern took a long time to craft and I'm not sure how valuable it it, for the scarf does not quite have that super-holy and delicate look I was going for. Perhaps I will try to knit lace with one of the "too tough" patterns I passed before.

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